Redefining Customer Experience & Neutralizing Disruptions Caused by Global Pandemic
REAL USE CASE
Home Appliance/ Retail
In this Real Use Case, learn how Swampfox was able to effectively neutralize the massive disruptions to a national home appliance company’s contact center, which was directly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. By working with Swampfox, the client was able to properly manage surging inbound call volumes and deliver the high-touch service customers expect from their premium brand. After a full implementation of the Swampfox First In Line™ intelligent callback solution, the client was able to:
- Decrease customer time in queue
- Shorten handle times
- Lower caller abandonment rates
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Increase agent satisfaction
- Increase agent efficiency
- Proactively manage large volume surges
- Proactively manage volume peaks and valleys
- Extend customer loyalty
- Protect and extend brand image for their premium brand
This client sells and services premium home appliances. Many of their appliances cost between $4,000 and $10,000. They are a premium stalwart brand known for excellence, reliability, and high-quality design. As the COVID-19 pandemic began, the client initially projected a decrease in demand for their products. They believed consumer spending habits would tighten, and if consumers were to purchase a home appliance, they would reach instead for other value-minded products on the market. At the same time, the client was feeling all the pandemic pressures within their own workforce: brick and mortar stores were forced to operate with limited staff, and the availability of contact center agents was severely impacted. Suddenly the client had to figure out how to deliver the same level of service customers had come to expect before the pandemic but with fewer resources at their disposal.
After a brief period, however, something else revealed itself. Consumers of all stripes— particularly high-worth consumers—reallocated their spending patterns. Travel was suddenly off limits, and restaurant dining became mostly takeout. Supply chains were disrupted, travel was clamped down on, and spending on vehicles slowed. As consumers faced lockdowns, they invested instead in better and more livable homes.
This created a perfect storm: not only did our client have fewer skilled agents to serve their already demanding customer base, but they also suddenly experienced an astronomical increase in demand. The client’s target consumers had more money to spend on their goods.
Something had to change for the client. In this case, it was their ability to serve their consumers with the same level of excellence that was demanded by their premium brand. Callers to their sales and support lines were being told to “wait for the next available agent,” and then they were shunted off to one hour, two hours, or even longer wait times with “your call is important to us” reminders being a cruel irony.
- First In Line™ (FIL) / Intelligent Callback (Application) allows customers to hear their real predicted wait time and request a callback as soon as an agent is available or schedule a time when they know they have more time.
Key Decision Points
- Client needed a reliable solution to meet their immediate needs
- Client needed a provider who could implement the solution quickly and effectively to resolve imminent brand damage due to their existing customer experience
- Client needed the ability to segment treatment based on if the customer was a premium club member, a distributor, or a standard consumer
- Client needed to be able to set expectations for when a customer would be able to reach an agent waiting in queue or how long it would take for a callback to be delivered without waiting in queue
- Client needed a way to allow agents to preview the customer’s inquiry to solve the caller’s need as quickly as possible
Before the implementation, when customers called in, they were met with a “Please wait for the next available agent” with no indication as to how long it would take. When 5 minutes turned to 15 minutes turned to an hour or more, customers became justifiably upset. Many callers simply abandoned the queue without receiving any help. Those who stayed voiced their frustration when they were finally able to speak with an agent. Customers were angry, agents were stretched thin, and the customer’s angry rants took precious time away from serving the rest of the backlogged queue.
After implementing First In Line™, the customer’s experience fundamentally changed. When customers called, they were served with their actual wait time and were offered a callback in place of waiting on hold. Right up front, the company was able to set the correct expectation about their service experience. When wait times exceeded a certain threshold, callers were informed it would be “longer than 30 minutes” and were offered a callback. When callers selected the callback option, they were then free to go about their day, returning precious time to their schedules. As their place in line approached, the customer received a call, confirming their availability and, in turn, connecting them to an agent.
The results were a breakthrough. Handle times were reduced significantly. Agents reported a marked reduction in apologizing to irritated customers who had previously had to wait on hold for hours. Customer’s abandon rates dramatically decreased. Overall, the client was able to deliver a higher level of service, increase customer satisfaction, and live up to their premium brand expectations.
Finally, the client was also able to provide differentiated service between premium club members, dealers, and standard consumers. Premium club members and dealers, who needed an even higher level of service and attentiveness, were delivered to agents quicker. Even better, the call center agents were served with important context information through their agent desktop that prepared them to better handle these priority customers’ needs.
In short, the client proclaimed that “Swampfox cured COVID!” Obviously, this is a little dramatic, but to the client, their inability to meet consumer demand traditionally was materially damaging their brand. First In Line™ put the client’s customer experience up front and helped them navigate the seismic shifts the pandemic brought to their contact center.